Detection of New Delhi Metallo-β-lactamase 1 and Cephalosporin Resistance Genes Among Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae in Water Bodies Adjacent to Hospitals in India

Curr Microbiol. 2020 Oct;77(10):2886-2895. doi: 10.1007/s00284-020-02107-y. Epub 2020 Jul 8.


The prevalence of carbapenem resistance among bacterial isolates from selected water bodies receiving hospital effluents and adjoining aquaculture farms in Kerala, India, was studied. Klebsiella pneumoniae followed by Escherichia coli, Klebsiella oxytoca, Enterobacter aerogenes and Acinetobacter baumannii were the predominant isolates. Antibiotic sensitivity of these isolates was determined by Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion method. Nearly 60% of the Enterobacteriaceae isolates screened were multidrug resistant of which 16.6% were carbapenem resistant. The carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae were further screened for the presence of New Delhi metallo β-lactamase-1 and cephalosporin resistance encoding genes. All NDM-1 isolates were highly resistant to carbapenem, cephalosporin, aminoglycosides, quinolones, tetracycline, and sulphonamides. K. pneumoniae harboring blaNDM-1 gene and E. coli isolates with blaCTX-M-15 and blaSHV-11 genes were detected in hospital discharge points. In aquaculture farms too, carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae with blaNDM-1 gene and E. coli isolates with blaCTX-M-15 were observed, although there was no use of antibiotics in these farms. However, other carbapenemase genes such as blaTEM, blaVIM, blaIMP and blaGIM were not detected in any of these isolates. The results suggest the increased prevalence of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae in the water bodies receiving hospital effluent and its dissemination to adjacent aquaculture farms, posing a serious threat to public health.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae* / drug effects
  • Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae* / genetics
  • Cephalosporin Resistance* / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Hospitals
  • India
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / drug effects
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Water Microbiology*
  • beta-Lactamases* / genetics


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • beta-Lactamases
  • beta-lactamase NDM-1